Saturday, March 24, 2012

Re-Cap: Everblades vs. Stingrays (3/24/12)

After struggling for a better part of the season, the Everblades find themselves in an enviable position. They found their groove at the best possible time. Just a month ago there was the threat of missing the playoffs. Not something the perpetually playoff bound Blades organization is used to. Now, the Blades find themselves in the middle of the playoff pack. Quite the turnaround.

After a close game Wednesday it seemed Friday's game was going to be a close one. It was, at least for the scoreless first period.

Then, the second period happened. Trevor Bruess opened up the scoring on the power play to make it 1-0 (assists to Fischer and Beca). About three minutes later, Brayden Irwin notched another power play tally to make it 2-0 (assists to Qick and Roy).  Shortly after that, Scott Pitt notched the Blades only even strength goal of the night on a rush from the faceoff (assists to MacLean and Murray) to make it 3-0. South Carolina was able to get one past Blades goalie John Muse to ruin his sht-out. Luckily, the Stingrays hadn't learned the lesson of staying out of the box and gave the Blades another power play. Obviously, the Blades converted. It was just one of those nights. Cedric McNicoll made it 4-1 with a pretty shot right over Stingrays goalie Billy Sauer's shoulder (assists to Beca and Fischer). Two minutes later the Stingrays continued to shoot themselves in the foot and Sebastien Piché scored his second goal in as many games to make it 5-1 (assists to Beca and Fischer). That score remained at the end of the period. The Blades had gone a perfect 4 for 4 on the power play.

Aside from a second goal from South Carolina (which really should have been disallowed in my opinion), the third was as quiet as the third. Brayden Irwin dropped the gloves with a Stingray, but it wasn't really what I'd call a fight. The period ended with the Blades up 5-2.

Three stars:
3. Irwin
2. Fischer
1. Beca

Barring a miracle, no pictures until Monday.

Some thoughts:
- The game sheets in the last month or two are really proof that scoring is coming from the entire team and that's a nice thing to see.
- If I remember attendance statistics correctly, the Blades hit 150,000 fans for this season last night. 5,857 is not too far off of full capacity. Good seats for playoffs are going to be hard to come by.
- Thanks to Wheeling losing, the Blades are suddenly fifth in the conference. Crazy.
- The Stingrays have been trying to get to Muse. They've been clipping and running him every chance they get. His reaction is to make anyone who comes near his crease pay. Awesome.
- I vote David Fischer and Matt Beca be on every power play so they can set up all the plays. We'll have a perfect power play record!

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